Quick-change artist in more than 1700 variants: From a construction site vehicle to a luxury camper van: the new Sprinter is at home everywhere

Feb 6, 2018
  • Modular structure: larger variety of models than ever in the history of this segment founder
  • Adaptable down to the last detail: the load compartment design and the stowage concept in the cockpit can be perfectly tailored to the customers' purposes

Panel van, Tourer, pickup, chassis or as the perfect passenger vehicle, a bus: on the basis of these vehicle types, the Sprinter sets new standards in modularity. Alongside the well-proven rear and all-wheel drive systems, the range is for the first time completed by a front-wheel drive system. The cab design as a classic single cab or crewcab, four different body lengths and adaptable tonnages and load compartment heights make the third edition of the Sprinter a world champion for individualisation. Right and left-hand drive models are available according to sales market, while the tractor head variant is produced exclusively for bodybuilders and additional body variants. The result is an unprecedented variety of variants, as the Sprinter can be configured in 1700 different versions using these parameters alone – not even counting classic features such as paint finishes, air conditioning or seat configurations.

"Modularity is not an end in itself, but rather a necessity, as the scope of applications covered by the new Sprinter has never been so diverse. Luxury camper vans, tourers for shuttle services or classic construction site vehicles which can be cleaned using a high- pressure spray at a pinch: that is the variety of customer requirements, and we meet them better than ever in the more than 20-year history of the Sprinter", says Norbert Kunz, head of Sprinter product management.

Low procurement price or high-quality materials and ambience: customers set priorities according to their requirements

The wide portfolio ranges from the basic version for customers who value well-proven Sprinter attributes, but are prepared to pay only the lowest possible price, to the high-end variant in which intelligent telematics with high-resolution touchscreens and high-quality materials determine the visual impression and ambience.

The stowage compartment concept exemplifies the adaptability of the interior. A choice of open or closed compartments, and a lockable compartment within the roof liner and in the cockpit, enable the configuration to be tailored precisely to the given requirements for the workplace behind the wheel. The centre section of the instrument panel is dominated by the large choice of infotainment systems. The upper end of the product range features the new MBUX multimedia system with a high level of internet connectivity, which is celebrating its parallel premiere in the new A-Class. However, it is also possible to dispense with an infotainment system entirely in the intests of additional stowage space. The co-driver's seat can be specially omitted for courier drivers – this reduces weight and makes it possible to get in and out on the co-driver's side.

The desire for maximum individualisation options is continued in the temperature regulation. The modular construction of the heating and ventilation system alows both the integration of a standard heating system and the use of a roof-mounted air conditioning system with a separate refrigeration circuit e.g. for passenger transport in hot countries. The powerful one-zone automatic climate control system THERMOTRONIC automatically regulates the fan, air distribution and temperature to the comfort level of a passenger car. In the Sprinter bus and Tourer, the cockpit and passenger compartment can also be regulated separately.

Load area: metal panelling, lightweight plastic flooring or heavy-duty wood flooring

When it comes to the load compartment, the most important decisions for subsequent areas of use not only involve the choice of vehicle model, cab design, body length and tonnage. Depending on the type of model, the load compartment too can be independently adapted to suit the purpose and business model of the user. In the panel van as the most popular model variant, the basic version with a metal loading floor, already suits the majority of customers. If the van is used e.g. by service technicians as a mobile parts store carrying heavy loads, then the heavy-duty wood flooring is the version of choice. This variant was principally developed for transport requirements where the load is distributed over just a few load-bearing points in the load compartment – for example when shelving is installed or in the case of particularly heavy and bulky goods. If a more even load distribution is possible, a new, lightweight plastic floor shows its advantages and increases the scope with respect to payload. The Sprinter bus and Tourer come equipped with specially designed plastic flooring as standard.

Optional, load-carrying claddings on the wheel arches are another new feature. This means that the full width of the load compartment can be used above the wheel arches. Other innovations include optional, movable pallet supports with an integrated stowage compartment in the entry steps, and inside roof racks. If the cargo is particularly temperature-sensitive, an optional heating system for the load compartment ensures the right climate behind the cab.